Infest 2015:
Project Pitchfork/Mind.In.A.Box/Empirion/Monolith/Klangstabil/Cocksure/Syrian/L'Ame Immortelle/BhamBhamHara/Chant/Ethan Fawkes/reADJUST/Mechanical Cabaret/D-K-A-G/AlterRed/Ctrl Alt Del

Bradford University, West Yorkshire - 28-30 August 2015

"Infest seriously found its groove again this year. One of the best Infests ever"


When I was a child living with my parents, every August we'd go on holiday to a caravan park in Combe Haven on the Sussex coast, not far from Hastings. I adored it. Although just the three of us we'd book a six-berth caravan so we had plenty of room to spread out inside should the weather outside be inclement – which it sometimes was.

One year, I vividly recall my mum asking me where I'd like to go on holiday that year. “Hastings!” I said meaning our usual caravan park. “You don't have to go there every year. You can go somewhere else!” she pointed out. But I wasn't dissuaded. Combe Haven caravan park it was - again.

So, deep within me, I have fond and vivid memories of holidaying in August, with basic but sufficient accommodation, and my Sanyo 'Walkman' providing a perfect soundtrack throughout.

Though the details change, some things remain constant in life.


2015: What a difference a couple of years makes.

This time in 2013 it looked like Infest had run its course. The promoters had openly stated this possibility online, largely on account of the potentially huge Alt-Fest – which was aiming for 20,000 ticket sales (like that was ever going to happen) announcing the year before that it would take place the same month. There's also Resistanz, a 3-day festival in Sheffield, covering some of the same ground as Infest (albeit aimed more generally at club style acts) which, since it appeared in 2011, has clearly eaten into some of the UK's already relatively limited audience at Infest's expense.

Alt-Fest imploded in spectacular fashion before it could launch and, just recently, Resistanz though has announced that it is going ahead in 2016. This still leaves Infest buffeted by the actions of those around it, but remains firmly the longest UK alternative electronic fest standing.

There was a time when it felt like the Infest crowd might be losing their mojo. But if there was any doubt as to the enthusiasm of both the festival organisers and/or the ticket buying public then this year's event well and truly buried them.

Because it is crewed by volunteers, it's plain to see that those behind the scenes are just as passionate as those in front of the stage. This has always been tangible, creating a good-natured, friendly and welcoming vibe – which is a major factor to attending for many, almost irrespective of which bands are playing. This was my 14th festival of the 17 to date. I do not automatically go every year (though I can readily understand why some have) I go purely based on the line-up.

That it all takes place on the self-contained campus of the University of Bradford really helps set it apart from other festivals. The majority of attendees stay in the pretty decent student halls and so are only ever a couple of minutes walk from all the action. Handy for those fashion-conscious types who like to do lots of outfit changes during the course of the weekend. (Not a concern for me, I hasten to add.)

Despite there being no real major headline names this year, the fifteen bands that were announced over the 3-days this year was a remarkably clever and tempting combination. It's also testament to the strength and inventiveness of the programming down all those years that so many, myself included, have felt compelled to go as often as we have.

Act 1: Friday 28th

[Ctrl Alt Del photo]   [D-K-A-G photo]   [Cocksure photo]

Photos [L-R]: Ctrl Alt Del, D-K-A-G, Cocksure

I knew festival openers Ctrl Alt Del from their single and video for Super Galactic Battle Attack. The no-budget production values didn't bother me, but I wasn't sure if these guys were serious about their music. It was obvious though they didn't take themselves too seriously. Turns out their manifesto is to ensure they and their audiences have fun.

I wasn't overly taken by the single, so seeing them live caught me off-guard. Yes, they may have been smiling, yes, they switched genre for pretty much every song in their set, but they held my attention far more than expected, coming across well. For me, they pulled off the genre-hopping from, dnb, to dubstep, to chiptune, to industrial, etc. etc. with ease. Only problem for me is I don't like some of the genres they work in.

Still, they were better than expected and the ideal way to kick off the opening Friday night. I especially liked the schizophrenic Dubstep Ruins Everything that featured Jonathan Tetsuo of Petrol Bastard on guest vocals. Then there was the Ultraviolence medley that very neatly connected us back to the first ever Infest in 1998 when Ultraviolence were on the bill.

Ctrl Alt Del setlist: Super Galactic Battle Attack, Management, Destroy All Dance Floors, Dubstep Ruins Everything, It Ain't Never Enough, Down and Down, Still Sexy and Hardcore (Ultraviolence medley) At the End of All Things

D-K-A-G I'd caught at Slimelight last year supporting the extraordinary Velvet Acid Christ.

Known as something of a Slimelight house band (on account of the band containing two Slimelight DJs), their brand of dancefloor committed beats was good of its kind but not what I'd usually listen to, either at a club or on the sofa. Having said that, I've only ever hear them live, so ought to give the recorded stuff a listen. Still, they came across as more polished than when I last saw them, ably assisted by some projected gritty visuals including a memorable band logo.

D-K-A-G setlist: Murder Inc., Machine:Destruct, Preset, Dial Overdose, Accelerate, Slimelight Musik

Cocksure was where things started to get really interesting. Cocksure is Jason Novak of Acucrack/Acumen Nation, and scene stalwart Chris Connelly of Revolting Cocks/Ministry fame and notoriety. Although I saw Ministry plenty of times, I can't recall ever having seen RevCo (and so it seemed for many I spoke with here). So Cocksure being on the bill – on the first day no less – was definitely a draw, and one of the reasons I chose to attend.

Acucrack having performed at Infest last year, I imagine there was a backstage conversation this time last year between Novack and promoters along the lines of Novack saying “I have this new project you may be interested in...”.

Good though it is, I wasn't entirely bowled over by last years début album TVMALSV. It seemed to lack either the genuine anger or total conviction that its style was begging out for. Follow-up Corporate_Sting has just been released on Metropolis, but have not gotten around to listening to it yet. Like pretty much everyone else, I was still keen to get down the front on the strength of their respective back catalogues.

As a project, Cocksure contains many of what you might call typical Connelly stylings – deliberately confrontational, rocking yet anti-rock guitars, presentational (and lyrical) irreverence, (welcome) old-school style synth work, and some trademark 'rapping' style vocals from Connelly. The latter I know puts some off, but for me is entirely logical and consistent with Connelly's performance persona. Hearing it on the Infest stage for the first time felt entirely appropriate.

I know Connelly's career way more than I do Novaks, and Cocksure is a natural progression of what has gone before but is clearly striving to do something fresh as well. The results are sometimes hit and miss, but by the time they went into (RevCo's) Beers, Steers And Queers pretty much everyone on the dancefloor seemed perfectly happy.

Cocksure setlist: Skeemy Gates, Silicon Suckas, Alpha Male Bling, Razor Invader, Corporate_Sting, Guilt Speed and Carbon, Klusterfuck Kulture, Assault on Cocksure 13, Hi Talez Cattle Grind, Beers, Steers and Queers

[Empirion photo]   [AlterRed photo]
  [Ethan Fawkes photo]

Photos [L-R]: Empirion, AlterRed, Ethan Fawkes

Another name instrumental in getting my arse to Bradford this year were Empirion.

Although they only ever released one album back in 1996, their distinctive brand of 'hard' techno always appealed to me. My first exposure to them was as support for Front242 at The Astoria on a Flag Promotions bill back in the mid 90s, when their underground dance sound knocked me out, me not being well-versed in such things. Their biggest hit is undoubtedly Narcotic Influence, which from decades of club exposure, is familiar to those who don't even know the band (or indeed the title of the track itself) – such is its familiarity.

Having seen them a couple of times since they returned to performing live (coaxed out once more by Flag) when they supported Meat Beat Manifesto at the Purple Turtle in London in 2011, I knew they should deliver. But there are few guarantees in this game. I'd watched Underworld at this years Glastonbury on TV and it was dull, boring and dated. Empirion on the other hand did everything they needed to ensure their pumping sound was as energising as ever. Perhaps closer to Orbital than Underworld, this one hour set was a joy from start to finish.

They may be down to a two-piece these days, Jamie Smart and Oz Morsley (third member Bobby Glennie passed away in 2005) but deliver they most certainly did. They rounded off a prodigious set with their extensive remix of The Prodigy's Firestarter. But for me it's tracks like the penultimate, 11-minute Quark that are everything that's great about their sound. By the end of the first evening things had rapidly hotted up.

Empirion setlist: Intro, SETI, Jesus Christ, Ciao, Narcotic Influence, Quark, Firestarter

Act 2: Saturday 29th

There's much to admire about AlterRed. Resolutely inscribing their own groove across a trilogy of concept albums no less, they've just released their fourth entry into their canon. They've been on a UK tour this year (more dates still to come kids – check local press) promoting the new material, but still, for many, myself included, Infest provided the first opportunity to sample it. If their performance here is anything to go by then In The Land Of The Blind is work to be reckoned with.

As soon as Mikey strode onto the stage you knew things were different. With longer hair, close cropped beard he was now resolutely Rock-God Dave Gahan circa 1997 than the slick-haired, pan-stick circus ringmaster persona of the previous three albums. Gone too the physical manifestation on stage of characters from the trilogy narrative. Things unchanged: showmanship, quality performance, intricate songwriting. As a start to day two I couldn't have asked for more.

Clearly very well-rehearsed, the band sounded tight and punchy. Jack still providing cool bass work front right, with new live recruit guitarist James acquitting himself well on the left. Mikey's intricate style of composition and cerebral lyrics (for it is he who writes all the material) is perhaps too unconventional, even on this scene, to be widely embraced. But maybe this recent development in style can break them to bigger audiences. I hope so, as he and his live band incarnation deserve far wider recognition. Probably the best AlterRed performance I've ever witnessed.

AlterRed setlist: I Breathe You, Trepanning, Amphetamine Chic, Nothing Less Than Violence, Predator, Unpopulism

[Chant photo]   [L'Ame Immortelle photo]   [Klangstabil photo]

Photos [L-R]: Chant, L'Ame Immortelle, Klangstabil

Belgium is normally a reliable source of inspirational alternative music, and the little-known Ethan Fawkes continued that tradition. Looking like a friendly troll, and accurately described by several as resembling (comedian/musician) Bill Bailey, on the Infest website in advance, Fawkes had little to distinguish himself. When he took to the stage with another cloth-draped trestle table + laptop setup I remained impassive if not altogether disheartened.

In the first prime example this year of what those programmers at Infest are so deft at, this not only exceeded expectations but warranted much closer scrutiny. Fawkes turns out an unusual, frequently melodic, form of Techno Body Music, with elements of EBM, noise, punk, metal... you name it. It helped that Fawkes chose not to remain rigidly behind that trestle table. His forays to the front of stage giving all the chance to see him sing, projecting a remarkably good voice, also helped him stand out from the crowd. The most unlikely welcome surprise of the weekend.

Ethan Fawkes setlist: All Your Lies, Waive At Me, One Night, There's A Place For You, I Feel Alright, untitled (special live break), Angry, It Stays Nothing, War For Nothing, From The Chaos Night, Wanna Kill EDM

Pretty much every year Infest serves up an act that catches people off-guard and impresses so much that they become the talk of the weekend. Last year that was Legend. This year, Chant can justifiably claim that honour. 'Tribal drums' was the phrase that everyone kept repeating beforehand. When the crew started setting out the band's instrumentation, it appeared likely that this was one rumour that was going to live up to its pre-show buzz. Almost the entire width of the stage was taken up with drums (and cymbals) of various shapes, sizes including an oil drum. This looked very promising.

The brain spawn of one Bradley R. Bills, out of Austin, TX, USA, and usually a three-piece live, here they were down to just two, not that any of us noticed a shortfall in delivery or performance. Shrouded in smoke and with white lights synchronized with the drumming this was as appealing visually as it was sonically.

The compositions have breadth and depth, and plenty of creativity, mixing grinding guitars, noise loop backing and lots, and lots of drumming. The result is more thoughtful and original than you might anticipate, meaning instead of things being simply a relentless barrage of percussive strafing (which I feared it might be) this was more nuanced and had more character than I might have guessed. This was a charged-up pleasure to behold.

Chant setlist: Brave New Apocalypse, Cycles, Adoration, Universal, All The Same, Create To Destroy, Revolt, Point and Click, Blood + Peace

The only other time I'd seen L'Ame Immortelle was when they played the Dark Jubilee festival in London in 2002. I wasn't overly impressed. Since then, Austrian Thomas Rainer has made a name for himself with his other main project Nachtmahr, who played Infest in 2010. Whatever the truth of his politics, Rainer there's no doubt deliberately courts controversy just to get attention.

L'Ame Immortelle is, however, a different proposition, replacing the sturm and drang of Nachtmahr with grandiose darkwave. But there are numerous other acts that do what he's trying to do far better than he can, so I saw no reason spend any time on them. The only band in the entire weekend I didn't bother going to watch.

I knew of German two-piece Klangstabil but wasn't familiar with their music. Which staggers me now that I've heard them live. As a rather massive enthusiast of Daniel (Haujobb) Myer, Klangstabil share many of the same attributes and approaches to composition, and offer many similar rewards, so it's surprising I hadn't been converted before now.

I so wanted to like them on account of them having such a cool-sounding name ;-) (it translates as 'Sound Stable'). With their signature, white out of black iron-clad fist circled by the phrase 'Direct Talkin Lyrics' hanging behind, before they even walked on stage, they projected a promising image as well.

Maurizio Blanco held position behind laptop and equipment, whilst lead singer Boris May, stalked around the front of stage, performing bare footed, continuously rubbing his bald head with his hand, which somehow seemed to sum up their unconventional approach to what they themselves playfully sometimes refer to as Klangpop. Tonight's set focused on their more trademark experimental electronica that's overcast by the long, dark shadow of industrial.

Opening with their remarkable single Shadowboy, The Awakening it was clear from the outset that not only was this refusing to play by the rules, but it was going to be an emotional journey. There's something decidedly cinematic about their sound, where droning bass synths lay the foundations to many tracks, while sweeping strings overlay and anthemic (sometimes piano) melodies with big chord changes lead the way. All carried through with May's powerfully emotive voice. Emphatic to the point of desperation. This was glorious.

They finished their performance and brought their set full circle with Schattentanz which is like a parallel universe version of Shadowboy, referencing the same main lyrical refrain. Emotional is the word that I keep coming back to when I think of Klangstabil. For me, a major highlight of this year's festival.

Klangstabil setlist: Shadowboy, The Awakening, Pay With Friendship (remix version), Math and Emotion (The Square Root of One), You May Start, Push Yourself, Twisted Words, Love Has Too Much Audience, Math and Emotion (The Square Root of Three remix), Schattentanz

[Mind.In.A.Box Photo]   [Mechanical Cabaret Photo]   [reADJUST Photo]

Photos [L-R]: Mind.In.A.Box, Mechanical Cabaret, reADJUST

Saturday headliners were Mind.In.A.Box. The band arrived in the UK at Manchester airport but their musical instruments got waylaid en-route. So for a few, tense hours it seemed their very appearance at Infest hung in the balance. Had someone from the Dreamweb pinched it, I wondered. Perhaps to punish the band for unveiling the deceit of the matrix? No. Thankfully, it was just some dodgy baggage handlers, and it turned up so the band could play and we got a gig. Phew!

Stefan Poiss and his live team were really, really good but not completely captivating on account of drawing heavily tonight on the latest album - which didn't make much of an impression on me. Nevertheless, I still admire Poiss's ability to rearrange his compositions for a live band. This worked even better than when I first saw them at the inaugural E-tropolis Festival in Berlin in 2010.

Partly due to how the songs are arranged for the live instrumentation, especially guitar, bass and live drums, some of the characteristics of the (more overtly) electronic studio recordings are lost. As Mind.In.A.Box is a project whose trance elements are a big part of what appeals to me about them, with the live renditions of some songs even touching on prog-rock territory at times (what!?), those elements I usually enjoy are curtailed, and my enjoyment wanes at times. But, thankfully, not too much so as to spoilt the overall impact.

Of course the major benefit of having such a properly 'live instrumentation' approach is that this is visually very dynamic with the full drum kit at the back, and the guitarist and bass player doing their thing either side of Poiss front and centre, mainly focusing on the synths and regular and treated vocals.

The six tracks from the current album aside, there were some classic favourites too including the first two songs, Light & Dark and Change, from the thrilling (and still my favourite) first album Lost AloneChange in particular remaining a euphoric and infectious piece of writing once those higher rate BPMs kick in. Rave-tastic!

Mind.In.A.Box setlist: Travel Guide, Synchronize, The Dream, Questions, Change, Remember, Control, Certainty, Light & Dark, The Place, Face It, Timelessness, Snippet 3, I Knew Silent Pain, 8Bits Encore: UnforgivenWorld, Shakeup

The second day had finished on another high and the good-natured, energised atmosphere was palpable. In the complete opposite of pretty much every other year, as the festival was progressing I found myself feeling more energetic, alert and up for it. Curiously, this was also the year I was drinking the least on account of the aforementioned illness and prescribed antibiotics. Strange!

The choice of DJs this year too was proving to be another big factor in the pleasure levels. As one who never dances, I've never been a big clubber and so has only ever taken a cursory interest in DJs. But, for some reason, this year they were grabbing my attention. (I actually high-fived DJ Skinny, aka David Crout of who, as Dreams Divide, played here last year, no less than two times.)

This, combined with higher than usual energy levels, meant I found myself hanging around the edge of the dancefloor of the main hall after all the bands had played, soaking up the tunes way more than usual, and seeking out more DJs in the other rooms too. Though I did stop short of joining any of the several aftershow parties that always happen in the halls and nearby hotels.

Act 3: Sunday 30th

The third and final day of Infest always kicks off with the first band due on stage around 4pm. This is a challenging slot for any act to fill, largely on account of the Saturday night/Sunday morning partying that happens every year, resulting in many serious hangovers, late sleepers, etc. dsoaudio favourites Mechanical Cabaret had the honour this year, even though they should have been higher up the bill. They actually took to the stage at 4:15pm but allowing those extra few minutes for the slow movers to arrive was sensible. And clearly appreciated, as there was a impressive turn out.

Even putting my fondness for Mechanical Cabaret to one side, by anybody's measure this was a superb performance. I spoke to several people later in the day who had never seen them live or even heard them before today. All were gushing with praise, citing them as something of a personal discovery of the weekend. Starting an all-too-brief 35-minute set with a beautiful, lilting piano intro before jumping into the hammering GBH, you had here, in 3 minutes the essence of Mechanical Cabaret. Heart-felt, uncompromising, honest music and lyrics.

The increasingly infectious last single, I Lost My Friend To A Video Game, was a smart early inclusion, its unforgettable lyrics and narrative, meaning even newbies could sing along towards the end of the song. Disbehave remains a pinnacle of any Mechanical Cabaret live show, as does the melodic (and equally singalongable) See Her Smile. A rare live outing for Sterilized (from their recently re-issued 2002 début album) closed these most wondrous proceedings.

I've seen Mechanical Cabaret literally dozens of times down the years. This could quite possibly have been the best performance I've ever seen them give. In part due to the performance, in part due to the setlist, and in part due to the audience's reception – which was phenomenal. Roi was on perfect form, and can be one of the best front men on the circuit when he chooses to be. Today he along with his synth guru Steve absolutely nailed it.

Mechanical Cabaret setlist: GBH piano intro, GBH, I Lost My Friend To A Video Game, KitKat, Disbehave, Why So Serious, Cheap n Nasty, See Her Smile, Sterilized

Hailing from Germany, reADJUST mix strong melodies with elements of EBM and Dark Electro, to create a danceable signature sound that they call Melodic Body Electro. So sayeth the Infest website in advance. All of which ticks a fair few personal boxes, so being entirely unfamiliar with this three-piece, I was curious to hear how they might deliver. Walking synth basslines reminiscent of (but not a patch on) Leaether Strip were welcome, as were bass drum sounds made on synths and, yes, there were some decent lead melodies channelling (or is that apeing?) Suicide Commando. The vocals I was less enamoured by. Whilst the first few songs served up those various elements, I wasn't grabbed. And following an explosive Mechanical Cabaret performance, this was a bit drab in comparison. It would have worked been better had they been switched around.

ReADJUST setlist: Intro+My Advice, Ego, Angst, Lazarus, Dead Whore, Supernatural Ability, Only Silence Remains, Wahre Helden (special bersion with English lyrics)

The curiously-named BhamBhamHara includes former-Girls Under Glass Axel Ermes – which was all I needed to know to ensure this was another major draw this year. Though little-known in the UK, Girls Under Glass were brilliant exponents of the industrial/crossover sound that the likes of Die Krupps perfected. I caught them live a couple of times when they played in London and still never forget the impact of their tight musicianship and powerful songwriting.

BhamBhamHara is a different proposition altogether but no less impressive. Axel Ermes, known by musicians in the scene as something of a go-to producer, has something of the Midas touch about him. Whatever he turns his hands to is worthy of your attention. He's partnered by Jan Bicker of electro industrial outfit Abscess. So this promised much.

Another UK début, they thankfully avoid the obviousness of much of what they themselves call Progressive Body Music, opting to explore a more cerebral, multi-layered take on the field. For my money, this is far more complex and intellectual than such a label implies. And all the better for it.

Another stand-out in this year's line-up and another example of one of those Infest stealth bands that emerge seemingly out of no-where and leave you unexpectedly impressed, and an act that probably sound better still, or at least more detailed and distinctive, in their recorded output than live. Will definitely investigate further to find out.

BhamBhamHara's setlist: Positiv, So Ne Schöne Welt, Wir Feiern, Ich Bin Ich, Your Eyes, Wir Sind, Kreislauf, Nur für Euch

Italy's Syrian stepped in to replace Melotron who pulled out a few weeks in the run up, and in doing so made their UK debut. Having last seen Melotron way back in 2001, and I was curious to hear what they were like now. Still, the plus side of the unknown Syrian was I'd get to see another act new to me. Their style being a club-friendly mix of synthpop, trance and industrial made them a good choice to appear in place of Melotron. Their song Supernova featuring Alphaville's Marian Gold on vocals caught my attention. (I'm a big Alphaville fan.)

I'd headed off before they got to their 80s medley that included OMD's Enola Gay, Depeche Mode's Everything Counts, and Aha's Take On Me. The last of which seemed to go down as heresy with those I spoke to afterwards who had heard it.

Syrian setlist: Intro-Now Is Forever, She Is The Dark, Cosmic Gate, Space Overdrive, 80s Medley (Enola Gay, Everything Counts, Take On Me), Orion Shall Rise, Close Your Eyes (Time To Die), Musika Atomika, Vega Velocity, Hypercube, Supernova

[BhamBhamHara photo]     [Syrian photo]     [Monolith photo]   [Project Pitchfork photo]

Photos [L-R]: BhamBhamHara, Syrian, Monolith, Project Pitchfork

It was thanks to his appearance at Infest in 2001 that I first heard Eric von Wonterghem's Monolith noise/techno/industrial/tribal/electronic project. Back then this style of music was new to me and I was perplexed but entertained in equal measure. I described the experience of hearing it as something “weird - kinda like Fatboy Slim on cocaine and heroin speedballs”.

Opening with new track Bairagi, Wonterghem's repetitive loops and beats mixed on the fly produced a, yes, monolithic wall of sound, crushing and yet hypnotic at the same time. It was one of the few times I've been fortunate to find myself lost in a trance like state listening to a noise outfit.

The fact that Wonterghem, chose a single image (of a serene feminine budda-like face) to be projected behind him for his entire 45 -minute set not only perfectly accompanied the sound, but proved this guy knows that less is so often more. This time, I really got Monolith. Would actively seek them out in future. And check out those very cool song titles too...

Monolith setlist: Bairagi, Amplitude, The Victim, Roadblock, Innergy, Rotated, Monophobia, Terror Disco, Near Crash, Techno Buddha

Finally, day 3 and festival top of the billers Project Pitchfork took to the stage. They had been due to play last year, but illness on the part of front man Peter Spilles meant they had to pull out (with VNV Nation stepping into the breach). In sending his apologies, Spilles promised to fulfil their side of the bargain this year. So, this was Spilles, staying true to his word – all credit to him.

The promoters were always keen to get PP to perform at Infest. When they first approached Spilles some years back, he wasn't familiar with the festival and declined the offer, but instead offered up his side project Santa Hates You, who took to the stage in 2008. On the back of that experience, Spilles said he was more than happy for Project Pitchfork to perform at Infest - which they did in 2010. (I've yet to find a single artist that has anything but gushing praise for the way they are treated by the Infest organisers and for the technical prowess of the crew.)

So for the many Project Pitchfork fans waiting patiently, the band delivered. I've never really understood the breadth of their appeal (coincidentally, this was also the view of several friends here), but there's no denying they do what they do well. A fulsome set, the better part of 2 hours, saw the dancefloor filled wall to wall, whilst my own interest waxed and waned. I left mid-set to catch up with friends, only to be drawn back by a couple of songs in time for the last few which I really rather enjoyed.

Since they've been going for ages, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that at least some of their stuff would click with me. So, it was good to spend the final minutes of the live performances in the thick of the crowd absorbing the vibe.

Like the night before, and in stark contrast to most years, come the end of the live acts, I was wide awake, full of energy and buzzing. The next 3 hours was spent in some great company, listening to some great music (courtesy of those on-form DJs) and consuming virtually no alcohol*.

Infest seriously found its groove again this year. Delivering the type of alternative festival I, and about 800 others, love. Unpredictable and yet reliable. Adventurous but also satisfying. Never complacent, constantly pushing the boundaries, testing its audience and yet delivering in spades. In spite of the lack of major headline names, this really turned out to be a classic - one of the best Infests ever. 9/10


It's a grey, rainy Monday morning. I'm on the train home and I have to go back to the day job tomorrow. How very depressing. Still, the coming weeks will be enlightened slightly by the rainbow effect of Infest, and the announcement that Infest 2016 is already confirmed.


Fast forward to adulthood.

On reflection, I now realise I have found the same sense of family, like-minded folk being togeher, and indelible enjoyable memories being created each and every August when I 'holiday' in Bradford for Infest – all accompanied by a near-prefect soundtrack.

My dad died more than a decade ago. My mum, sadly, died earlier this year - making this year's outing and sense of belonging all the more poignant and precious.

The End... for this year.

* Footnote: For the avoidance of doubt, no other substances were involved in the making of this feel-great weekend

Review: Rob Dyer
Photos: © Simon @ Disturbing

Official Infest website:

See also:
Infest 2014
Infest 2013
Infest 2012
Infest 2010
Infest 2008
Infest 2007
Infest 2006
Infest 2003
Infest 2001
InFest 2000
InFest '99
InFest '98